Edinburgh skate park sign now

This text is taken from the official ESP (edinburgh skatepark project) website:

ESP (Edinburgh Skatepark Project) was established in December 2001, as a result of skaters in the city expressing the need for purpose built facilities in Edinburgh for their sport.

These views were further highlighted when the council surveyed over 4,000 young people in the city (Viewfinder survey) to find out what they thought about existing council services and what was missing. The need for skate facilities came close to the top of the list in priorities of what was required in the city.

Following a public meeting for skaters in November 2001, the ESP was established to represent Edinburghs skaters and continue to highlight skaters needs and campaign for skate facilities in the city.

At this time ESP consisted of two groups, both initially consisted of young people, the Action Group & the Information Group. The Action Group worked to raise the profile of skating in the city and highlight the lack of suitable facilities, whilst the Information Group developed the ESP website.

What was achieved?

* Recommendations from the Viewfinder survey included the development of a central competition standard skatepark in central Edinburgh.
* Adult skaters joined ESP, increasing the profile and voice of the group.
* Various reports were written & sent to senior council officials and elected members highlighting skaters needs for purpose built facilities in the city.
* Alternative avenues for sponsorship and support for the development of facilities were explored.
* The director of Culture and Leisure met with ESP members to hear their views on what should be built in the city.
* As a result of ESP continuing to campaign for skate facilities and keeping the issue on the political agenda, the council allocated 380,000 from monies they received from the Scottish Executive, to develop a skatepark and satellites in the city.
* ESP reps. were invited to sit on a council scrutiny panel to inform elected members of the benefits a skatepark would bring to the city and how satellites often fail as a result the council agreed to pilot one satellite park (Sighthill) and use the remainder of the monies for the central park.
* A site for the skatepark was identified on the Meadows.
* Clive Bowman (designer of Perth & various other skateparks across the country) was commissioned by the council to design a skatepark for Edinburgh.
* ESP members worked with Clive to develop & design Edinburghs central skatepark.

Wheres the park then?

As most people will be aware Edinburgh still doesnt have a skatepark. An oversight on behalf of the council resulted in the proposed site on the meadows having to be taken out the picture. In 1991 Edinburgh District Council, initiated a law, the District Council Confirmation Order Act (1991) to protect some of the citys oldest parks and green spaces. This law prevents any form of development or construction on the Meadows, Leith Links, Calton Hill and Princes Street Gardens. In spite of the council saying they were prepared to go to parliament to have the law changed to enable the skatepark to be built and other improvements to be made on the meadows the timescale given a minimum of two years to change the law was rejected by ESP.

Following this massive setback, ESP met with Councillors Ewan Aitken & Ricky Henderson to express their concern about the situation and question the councils commitment to building the skatepark. Reassurances were given by both councillors that the skatepark had the support of the council and they would ensure the funding allocated would not be lost. The site was still the major missing link and as a result of this meeting a short life-working group was initiated in July 2003 to identify other relatively central locations, on council owned land, for the skatepark.

Ali Low, Russ Hall & Tobi Linnel, represented ESP on this group. A list of potential sites was developed & various were visited including; Roseburn Cliff, Holyrood Park, St Marks Park & Inverleith Park.
St Marks park was deemed to be the site with most potential and ESP was given a limited timescale to seek the views of the city skaters on where they would like to see the park being built.

Responses received indicated St Marks was the favoured site, however when contractors moved onto the site to do preliminary tests it soon became apparent that no construction would be able to go ahead as the site had been a rubbish tip which would not support the weight of any type of construction never mind a sunken concrete skatepark.

This takes us to the present situation still no skatepark, although the Sighthill satellite park is now complete.

Basicly it says that we need a skatepark! though we have had several attempts before to get planning permission this one is our best shot, and probally our last.

you may be thinking, well i dont like skaters so why should i sign for them to get a skatepark? well it would get a lot of skaters off of the streets and into a purpose built facility. Edinburgh is one of the few major cities in scotland that doesnt have a skatepark. The signatures on this petition will be presented to the council at a meeting on the 17th of November at Edinburgh Academy which will decide the fate of the skatepark. thank you for your support.

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Derek WoodBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Edinburgh Council

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